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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BOUVETOYA: Subtractivate (2013)

“This is very good retro Berlin School EM where Bouvetoya seduces with an approach that we know but of which we are always amazed that there are still bits of freshness”

1 Kraterisen 9:23 2 Apophenia 5:14 3 Pulse Negative 12:55 4 Acheron 12:48 5 When Isolation Sparkles 17:17 6 Subtractivate 8:54 SynGate | CD-r MJ01

(CD-r 66:33) (V.F.) (Berlin School)

The debate persists after all these years; does the old Berlin School of the vintage years have forgotten musical ideas on the paths of the decades? The opinions are divided, so much some followers could eat this music all the time. And it's mainly to them that addresses this small jewel signed by a mysterious Irish artiste (a new Arcane?) whose name is inspired by a remote Norwegian island. SUBTRACTIVATE presents nearly 70 minutes of EM with long intros perfumed mystic mists which give birth to always evolving rhythms wrapped up in dense ochred clouds, dark choruses and ethereal flute airs. It's an album where the references to Tangerine Dream, Rubycon and Phaedra era, abound throughout a first very promising album from Bouvetoya. A name that we should keep in memory.

An oblong synth layer perfumed of mist is winding up around the introduction of Kraterisen, throwing an impressive dark veil which floats with a mixture of voice, breezes of Farfisa and sound subtleties deserving of the Rubycon years. Bass pulsations are stirring in a tempestuous gallop where circulate these black drafts infiltrated by chthonian choruses. After a three minutes of Mephistophelian ambiences, the rhythm of Kraterisen becomes as furious as black. Heavy, it bursts of another line of more rebellious sequences which pulse in a crazy oscillating race of which each knock resounds and challenges the wings of a static rhythm constantly tortured by chthonian choirs, by pads with scents of ether and also nibbled by riffs of synth to echoing bites. We are into the abyss of Tangerine Dream with strong perfumes of analog where the black rhythms go up and down, surrounded with these dark ambiences which quarrel the heat of our ears. Offering a black ambient rhythm, Apophenia goes beyond of a vaporous introduction in order to offer some agile sequences which pulse stubbornly in sonic corridors disguised of synth lines eroded by its nuances and by plenty of electronic tones. Then some tortuous lines of reverberations open the somber ambiospherical paths of Pulse Denial which wallows in a luxurious bed of Mellotron mists. The lines spit an organic poison, while the moods get harden and present a delicate carillon of sequences which swirl like an enchanted musical box. The rhythm takes itself in the stitches of these sequences. Beating of its bass keys, it by-passes the transparency of the sonic pearls which zigzag with resonance in the vapors of flutes and finally stumble in some ambiosonic lines to tones of Ohm. The moment of break is short because Pulse Denial, just as Acheron and his banks of mist which surf with disturbing synth lines to the deformed resonances, continues its rhythmic transfer mutation by drawing awkward circles by which the intensity increases to the measure of its static spins which swirl in the vapors of Arabian nasal flutes and mystic Mellotron.

When Isolation Sparkles spreads also a slow and long ambiospherical intro before offering a structure of rhythm, a little after the 7th minute, with sequences which pace up and down symmetric dunes. Elytrons of steel accompany this furtive sonic walking decorated with fine nuances, whereas we perceive a little more vigour in a rhythm which gets dressed subtly of black. The rhythm is static, but always in movement and in permutation. Only its harmonious tints modify the appearance while it increases appreciably the pace in order to play with another line of sequences, always so sober, which swirls in these clouds of Mellotron. Mists, flutes and chthonian choruses which make all the charm of the somber atmospheres of SUBTRACTIVATE and of its title-track which, after a heavy ambiospherical intro, offers a good movement of a wave-like rhythm which is reminiscent of Chris Franke's ambient rhythms.

Sailing in a full ocean of analog tones with structures of rhythms which evolve in ambiospheric beds of wadding, SUBTRACTIVATE maintains constantly the interest by presenting fine nuances which catch the hearing. It's an album where the rhythms are as well ambient as the ambiences can be dark and a very good retro Berlin School where Bouvetoya seduces with an approach that we know but of which we are always amazed that there is still other bits of freshness left.

Sylvain Lupari (December 21st, 2013) *****

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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